If you have been the victim of wage theft, your claim may not have to advance to court. It is possible to reach a settlement with your employer and recoup compensation for your losses.
If your employer makes you an offer to settle, it can be hard to know when to settle. You should speak with an employment law attorney who handles wage theft claims in your area.
You want to make sure you are fairly compensated for your lost wages and for any other damages that you may have suffered and that you are entitled to receive because of the wage theft you suffered.
You will need to gather supporting evidence and documentation and make sure your claim is underway before time runs out.
Documentation and evidence are essential, so keep a file of work-related documents in case you ever find yourself in a situation where you must file a complaint against your employer and recover compensation for your losses.
Knowing When To Settle
There are both pros and cons to reaching a settlement with your employer. While the settlement process may be much faster and have a less hassle than going to court, it could end up with you not getting as much money as you would if your claim advanced to court and a judge or a jury ruled on your claim.
However, you could get faster access to the money that you recover if you reach a settlement out of court.
You will need to gather all your evidence and documentation then calculate the total loss you suffered from the wage theft. You will also want to add up other damages that you can recover through such a claim.
This includes your attorney’s fees and any other associated costs, such as court costs. Whether you agree to a settlement out of court, or whether you decline a settlement and advance to court with your claim is your decision.
Because of the complexity of such process, you will need to speak with an attorney who handles such cases.
How To Decide Whether To Settle
You should add up your losses and have a value in mind regarding what you would be willing to accept for your claim. You should work with your attorney to make sure you get a fair settlement.
Your lawyer will be able to determine if it is a fair settlement. Your lawyer will make sure there are no strings attached to your settlement and that reaching a settlement is in your best interest.
As an example, it may indicate that your ability to file a lawsuit against the company for another violation or a different matter could be in violation of the settlement agreement and prohibited.
You need to make sure that you have a legal expert review the details of the settlement and determine the best way for you to proceed with your claim.
If your lawyer does not believe that the settlement is in your best interest, he or she will suggest that your claim advance to court where a judge or a jury will review the details of your claim and will determine a fair settlement and decide on your claim’s outcome.
Getting Your Claim Started
The value of your settlement is completely dependent on the strength of your evidence and supporting documentation that you have for your claim.
Evidence that you will need include your employee handbook, your employment contract, your timecards, documentation showing hours worked and breaks, witness statements, paystubs, sales records if applicable, and so forth. Anything that help shows how much you are to be paid is essential to your claim.
You must prove what you were to be paid, how much you worked and what you were owed, and what you are still owed. Because of the complexity of such claims, you should enlist the help of an employment law attorney.
With the help of a lawyer, you are much more likely to have a successful claim and recoup your lost earnings and any other damages that you are allowed to recover in such situations.
When you talk with an employment law attorney, discuss their payment options. Some attorneys take cases on a contingency basis while others require an advance payment, called a retainer.
You do have a limited time – called a statute of limitations – for pursuing a claim. To ensure your claim is filed in a timely manner, complete the Free Case Evaluation Form on this page.